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March 29, 2008

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looking at the slow-mo replay of the point, you know which one?

Q. Just watching, you hit that ball on the run. It's hard to tell whether you had a full five fingers on the racquet or not. Did you?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. It's hard for me to tell in the moment when I don't have the benefit of slow motion replay. I knew I wasn't going to be able to get enough on it if I hit it down the line to even have an impact or to get it past him, so I figured that was pretty much the only shot I had.
I was pretty lucky. I didn't even see it when I hit it. I heard people yell and scream afterwards and I figured that was a good thing.

Q. On your personal list of great shots that you've hit, where does that one lineup?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, it's tough to say. Because a lot of them are situational. You know, if there's an ace to save matchpoints and you end up winning the Open a couple of days later, that's a good shot.
But as far as freak show trick shots, that's up there. I remember hitting one at Cincinnati a couple years ago like this way. It's up there. You don't hit shots like that every day.

Q. Does that shot have a name, Andy?

Q. First set, you were kind of your own worst enemy there with your serves.
ANDY RODDICK: I actually don't feel like I hit the ball that badly from the baseline in the first set. But you might as well just play the set with the second serve, it makes things difficult. And that's really not me.
I mean, I normally have pretty high percentages on my first serve, and I think that's something I normally do well. By the end of the match I think I was flirting with 60%, so I think that means I served okay the last two sets.
But it was just an adjustment. I think the ball was getting too far out in front and I was pulling it down into the net.

Q. Was it also a function of no matches in the last week?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. I think it was just technical adjustment. Maybe I was a little anxious to get out there, but the ball was out in front, I brought it back, and it clicked back in.

Q. Did you feel at all that it was tough to find a rhythm at times? You would get going and there would be an interruption either by Viktor or by the flow of the game with there being a break?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You don't notice that. I think he kind of controls the pace of the match because he takes his time and he's very methodical between the points. But that's just personal style.
I think maybe he was smart to do that, kind of try to keep his composure and keep it together. But you're down a set and stuff, and things just don't feel like they're going your way that much. I hit some good returns and miss them by an inch deep. I'd try to challenge the call, and the video replay system doesn't work for that point, just little things like that (smiling). Just, you know, I guess it was one of those days.

Q. Are you better at dealing with those kind of little things than you were maybe a few years ago?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, depends on the day.

Q. How about the third game of the third set. Can you talk about escaping that game?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I was fortunate to get out of that one. But to my credit, a couple of breakpoints we played long points and there were rallies, and I didn't play myself out of them by making an error.
I kind of stayed the course. I was fortunate to get to that game. But after I got through that game, I felt like the match was mine to take.

Q. When you broke in the second set, you followed up with five first serves, including an ace to close out the next game. Was that an emotional turning point in the match?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I think when you're down like that, you just kind of keep looking for that one opening, that one opening, that one opening. I got my shot. I hit it, and the momentum definitely turned at that point.

Q. He's played several Top 10 players really tough. Did he sort of come out of nowhere in your eyes, or did you know anything about him?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I know he beat Djokovic last year, and I know he had Rafa against the ropes in the first two sets of their match in Australia. So I was aware of that.
And anybody who has four matches behind them in five or six days is going to be match tough, is going to be hitting the ball well. You don't win four matches at any level in professional tennis by accident.
So I was aware that he was probably not going to come out and be real nervous. He had the match play under his belt, so I was conscious of that.

Q. The Hawk-Eye people have a standing invitation to all players to come on up and look at their technology. Have you ever thought about taking advantage of that opportunity just to see what it's like?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm too much of a cynic.

Q. So you're no longer a believer in Hawk-Eye?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no, I love it. I think it's great for tennis, but I don't think -- I don't know if I'm smart enough to know how 100,000 cameras around the court positioned at this level and that level, I don't know if I need that running through my head as I'm challenging a call and pissed off that it doesn't go my way.

Q. What did happen on that one call? We were all confused. It just said, "call stands."
ANDY RODDICK: I'm glad you were confused, too. At least I had company. I hit a ball, and I said, Well, let's take a look at it. We stood around for a while looking confused, and then I see on the board it says the original call stands. I felt like it was talking directly to me. I would have liked some advance notice.
So I just looked at the umpire he said, Original call stands. And I go, Oh, you can read, too. That's good. Then I asked him on the switch over, and I said, Okay, I've seen it before where it kind of shorts out for a second and then it's not working at all. I said, Is Hawk-Eye down right now? He said, No, it was just for that shot. I said, Well, that sucks.
He said, Well, it's tough on me. You don't know how it is on me. I'm like, It's not going to matter to you at the end of the day. I go, Forgive me if you can't see my tears. They're there for you. But I was like, It doesn't matter to you.
For me, it's tough, man. Feel free to jump in there any time. You don't need a machine. I'll give you permission.

Q. What's the sense in the locker room about the time that Djokovic and Nadal are taking these days over their serves? Is there any kind of debate about it or conversation about it?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, when someone bounces the ball 25 times it gets brought up in conversation. But, you know, I don't think it's our job. I think it's the umpire's job. I don't know if they consider that part of his service motion, you know. It's their job to enforce the time rules.
There's really not much we can do about it, but I don't know what our options are at that moment.

Q. Where do you feel your game is at right now having come through such a tough scream like you did today? Do you feel like you're coming toward the top of your game again?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm getting there. In practice I've been hitting the ball as well as I have. I mean, really, really playing great stuff in practice. Now it's just a matter of trying to get that translated. I think when you're off for, what is it? However long. Two weeks or whatever it is, I think I was just a little bit overanxious.
It got to the point where I was ready to play instead of practicing, and maybe that showed. I rushed a little bit. But I settled in in the second and third set. So if I can get it the way I'm hitting the ball to translate into the match, I think I'll be okay.

Q. Minar, off the clay on hard court. Can you give us a few words on him?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he actually plays pretty similar to the guy I played today. He hits hard and flat. You know, I think he's going to come out and go for broke. That's probably what he feels is going to be his best chance to get a win.
You know, I think you just have to stay the course with these guys. I feel like if I fix my serve and hold my own serve, I'm going to get looks.

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